The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal authority based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, is responsible for the algorithms in use. NIST has organized competitions for the hash algorithms. The authority responsible for standardization processes also standardized the encryption algorithms DES and AES. NIST initiated the competition to develop SHA-1, which was supposed to replace MD5 as an insecure standard at the time, in the knowledge that the standard at that time was uncertain. When SHA-1 became attackable, NIST found the SHA-2 algorithm through further competition. Now, however, no attack on SHA-2 succeeded, so that NIST itself sees doubts about the necessity of the successor, as Heise reported in 2012. Since the widespread introduction of SHA-2 is just around the corner and the algorithm has not been cracked

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